Peter Torkildsen is currently Director of Business Development and Government Affairs for Ora, Inc., an ophthalmology research and development company in Andover, Massachusetts. He previously was Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party and earlier served as the Director of Federal, State and Local Workforce Relations for the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development. In this capacity, he was actively involved in the state implementation of the federal Workforce Investment Act, and in promoting the use of New Markets Tax Credits to spur economic development in low income communities.
Torkildsen had an extensive background in public service prior to joining Gov. Mitt Romney's administration. Torkildsen was a member of the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, which enforced the commonwealth's collective bargaining laws.
Torkildsen served two terms as a Member of the United States Congress for the Sixth District, as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries, and as a state representative. Torkildsen has also served as director of business development for an internet start up company, and as a private consultant.
In the U.S. Congress, Torkildsen served on the House Armed Services Committee, the Natural Resources Committee, and chaired the Small Business sub-committee overseeing the Small Business Administration.
Torkildsen began his career in public service when, as a 26 year old, he defeated the majority leader of the Massachusetts House, and served the first of three terms as a state representative. Torkildsen received his M.P.A. from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, and earned his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is the first graduate of UMass Amherst ever to serve in Congress.